Into the RFU County Championship semi finals go Yorkshire U20s for a second consecutive year. The victory over North Midlands has earned this talented, dedicated squad a trip to the far south west to play Cornwall in a match which is already gaining interest and anticipation down there, if the social networks are anything to go by. The venue for the quarter final was York Rugby Club. In addition to providing a warm welcome and a beautiful pitch, the club staff seem also able to arrange good weather, this being the second county match to enjoy calm, bright conditions.
All began well for the home side. Displaying a customary combination of speed and aggression, surprising and overwhelming the opposition, Yorkshire swept to a 19-0 lead by half-time, with tries from Cameron Hudson (above) after eight minutes, Stuart Nel (below, 20 minutes) and Declan Dunn (39 minutes). Ezra Hinchliffe converted on two occasions to make up the 19.Clearly this was the culmination of great work by the forwards, as evidenced by this show of strength and determination from Conor Ward.
As often happens, there was a change of atmosphere in the second half. North Midlands' spirits rose when Barnaby Hayward broke through to put points on the board a mere minute after the break. Despite a Rob Rekis try on 45 minutes and another from Stuart Nel just five minutes later, there was a feeling that things weren't quite running smoothly. A number of errors and two further scores from North Midlands added to a general feeling of unease and even a fear in the not inconsiderable crowd that a recovery was on.
These were erased with ten minutes to go as Rob Rekis raced through again to score his second try of the day. It's becoming a fertile venue for him as this brace added to the hat trick from the side's previous outing against Northumberland. Ezra Hinchliffe (below) topped off a good season opening appearance with two further conversions, bringing a closing score of 38-17.It was a good day too for photographing, with some pleasing action shots, to top off a great weekend, from Bronte Blues Club on Friday to Halifax on Saturday and the dream of Twickenham still alive!